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Between the Trapezes

Overcoming Fear and Uncertainty

October 2008



Welcome to Between the Trapezes! Often the changes in our lives feel precarious as we are in that space between two certainties. But taking that chance is what brings success.

Enjoy reading, and feel free to forward this eNewsletter on. And if you received this email in error, our apologies -- just unsubscribe using the easy link at the bottom of this page.



Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

Saving Your Interview

Getting -- and Keeping -- A Great Job During a Recession. And, a Grand Opening!

The Job Search is All About Communicating Your Value

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

Man thinking blue shirtHave you noticed the language used by the media when they've been describing the developments in the economy these last few days and weeks? Stocks just don't go down, they plunge or plummet or dive. Credit rates don't go up, they soar, skyrocket, top out. And: you'd better hang onto your job no matter what, because unemployment is climbing, breaking records, will overtake us. All very scary. And leaving us feeling fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

If you're in job search, you have experienced enough of each of these in your search. You don't need more of it. You don't need to add questions like "Will there be a good job out there for me at all, with all this going on?"

So I'm suggesting to you what a minister suggested to me years ago when I was complaining about one world event or another: Turn off the news. Turn it off and don't log onto news web sites more than a couple of times a day. Surround yourself with positive people. Attend "up" events. Lean on your faith. Take a walk, without your iPod. Get your family to ask you no more than once a week about your job search. Meditate on something peaceful and beautiful. When someone brings up bad news, change the subject or move on to the next person.

You can't control what's happening in the news. But you can control your reaction to it. Hoard your positive energy for you, and your family. Now is when you really need it.

What's a Quick Consult with the Queen?

Saving Your Interview

Interview2Most of the time, job candidates fear they will blow the interview. But what happens if the employer doesn't know how to do an interview?

A few weeks ago, a client I'll call Paul was called by the recruiter at a technology company he had targeted. He'd applied for a great job there, and now the recruiter scheduled a face-to-face interview with Paul, arranging to have him meet with some key people at the company.

The first interview was with two analysts who would be peers to Paul. Their opinions would be key to the hiring decision. As the recruiter left the room, it got very quiet. The two employees looked at each other and Paul until finally one of them came up with a question for Paul. Paul handled it fine, giving an example or two of success in a previous experience that was relevant.

They fell silent again. Finally one of them spoke, and Paul answered the question.

This awkward and somewhat painful pattern continued, the minutes ticking away, until Paul realized: "They don't know how to do an interview!" It was something he and I had talked about, but now Paul was experiencing it for himself. If he didn't get to talk right now about how he fit the job, he might not get a second chance to do so. So he changed tactics.

"Would it be useful if I talked about some of the technical challenges I've faced in this work, and how I handled them?", he asked.

The two employees were delighted to be thrown a lifeline, and readily agreed. Paul jumped in with some additional success stories, and the two analysts joined in, and it became a spirited conversation among peers, instead of a game of "interview ping pong".

Naturally, Paul's confidence grew with each turn of the conversation. The session ended with Paul having made several key points about his fit, and the two analysts let him know they wanted to work with him.

The rest of Paul's interviews there that day went well.

If Paul had let the initial interviewers continue to flail about, that part of the interview day would have failed. He would not have gained the endorsement of those two key players. Just because someone is a successful manager or even CEO, it does not mean they know how to interview prospective employees.

So if you sense the interviewer isn't very good at it, help them out, and bring up topics that they will probably want to address.

In Paul's case, it helped him land a second interview, and then the job. He's been there a few weeks now and it's working out very well.

Congratulations, Paul!

More about our career choice and job search coaching

Getting -- and Keeping -- A Great Job During a Recession. And, a Grand Opening!

Woman speakerJoanne Meehl will be speaking at the Maple Grove Library this coming Monday, October 6th, at 7pm, about Getting -- and Keeping -- A Great Job During a Recession. When Joanne speaks to groups about job search, it's an interactive session loaded with tips and information that's immediately useful -- and you have fun!

This talk will last about an hour, with more Q&A afterward. And she'll be signing her book (see below), with a percentage of the sales proceeds going to the Friends of Maple Grove Library.
Joanne will do this same program at the Oxboro Library in Bloomington, Minn., on Saturday, November 1st at 11am.

Cost? It's free! so if you're in the Minneapolis area and want to hear Joanne, and want to learn how to land a job in these tumultuous times, and how to keep the one you already have, don't miss this event.

GRAND OPENING!!! The grand opening of the Minneapolis office of Joanne Meehl Career Services will be on Tuesday, October 21st, from 4-7pm, at the Minnetonka location. There will be refreshments and giveaways, and free 15-minute mini-seminars on job search at 4:30 and 6:30. Joanne will also be signing her book (see story below). The address: 13911 Ridgedale Drive, Suite 490, Minnetonka. Everyone is welcome!

The Job Search is All About Communicating Your Value

Book cover med

So much of the search depends on how you communicate your value to a potential employer. Here's a tool that will help you find the right words.

The Resume Queen's Job Search Thesaurus and Career Guide is available here or on, where it's gotten solid positive reviews. AND it's also available as a iVersion for your iPod.

By using the Thesaurus and Guide, you'll improve your chances of strong communications with prospective employers. In these uncertain times, why not give yourself every advantage?

Thank you for your order!

Tip of the Month


Joanne Meehl

Thought of the Day:

There are two ways of meeting difficulties: you alter the difficulties, or you alter yourself to meet them.

-- Phyllis Bottome, novelist

Tip of the Month:
Not sure what to do with LinkedIn? Click the JOBS tab and search for job openings there, using the geographic parameters and key words. More and more employers are bypassing job boards to find candidates here instead, because they know savvy people link up with others on LinkedIn. _________________________

We are proud members of:

  • Association of Career Professionals Int'l
  • Career Management Alliance
  • Chapman Private Practice Alliance
  • Business Networking International

Called "The Resume Queen" years ago by a career counselor colleague, Joanne Meehl decided to have fun with the nickname (which we've officially trademarked). But she also takes it seriously by keeping her career management skills on the leading edge, through research and ongoing dialog with hiring managers.

You're now seeing us use "The Job Search Queen", which better reflects the breadth of our services. The trademark is pending. We use both "queen" nicknames in our materials.


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Are you trying to fix the wrong problem? -- Maybe you think your resume isn't working but could it really be that there just aren't many jobs in your field right now? Or maybe the companies just aren't a good fit? Find out what's wrong, especially if you're stuck, stalled, and confused, during a Quick Consult with the Queen. This 1-2 hour session gives you concrete steps to follow for getting unstuck, for a fee of $150. And if you choose to work with Joanne on these steps, that fee is applicable to your project.

Joanne's Blog: The Heart of the Matter


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Joanne Meehl Career Services | 13911 Ridgedale Drive, Suite 490 | Minnetonka | MN | 55305